The Brave, New Direction of Season 3 (spoilers)...

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Volpone, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. Volpone

    Volpone Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Location:
    Bigfoot Country
    So, I'm reading the plot breakdown for "The Xindi" over on TrekToday ( spoilers ), and it seems that in this thrilling new episode, Captain Archer beams down to the planet's surface...
    .
    .
    .
    SPOILER
    .
    .
    .
    SPOILER
    .
    .
    .
    SPOILER
    .
    .
    .
    AND GETS CAPTURED!!! :eek: He then needs to be rescued. Thank God they've reworked the series! I really didn't think they had enough episodes the first two years where Archer gets captured and needs rescuing.

    Just like I figured. Talk is cheap with B&B. Its the Same "Stuff," Different Day (SSDD) factor.
    .
    .
    .
    REAL SPOILER
    .
    .
    .
    REAL SPOILER
    .
    .
    .
    REAL SPOILER
    .
    .
    .
    The article also hints that the Xindi aren't a loose confederation of planets, but FIVE COMPLETELY DISPARATE SENTIENT SPECIES, ALL EVOLVED ON THE SAME PLANET!!! For me, the only possible good I saw coming out of this whole Xindi nonsense was that Earth would see how much more powerful a confederation of planets, working toward a common cause would be, planting the idea for the UFP, but instead it looks like they're gonna go with the premise that somehow, not one, not two, heck not even three, but five, count 'em FIVE dominant species each from a different animal family somehow evolved on the SAME planet. :rolleyes:

    ENT has done for Star Trek what Jerry Bruckheimer did for Batman.
     
  2. JNG

    JNG Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    A creative and new idea. I like it.

    As for the hostage taking, this is not creative or new, and I don't like it. The show has a terrible overreliance on being shot down, taken hostage, and beaten.
     
  3. Xenoclone

    Xenoclone Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    ::Gasp:: And they're still flying a starship?
     
  4. Stewey

    Stewey Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Location:
    United Kingdom, Wales
    I think this thread should be renamed as "The deperate old direction of enterprise", because from what I see, is yet more lazy writing, and the ripping off of old plots. This arc will last no more than 5 or five episodes over the season, just like the TCW "arc".
     
  5. Ptrope

    Ptrope Agitator Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Location:
    USA
    I think they'd be better off if they just went with Jayson's monkeys. I don't see where an utter ignorance and/or disregard of basic, grade-school scientific principles is "creative." I honestly don't think the writers/producers of this show are capable of coming up with a credible explanation of how multiple sentient species in the same biosphere achieved enlightenment simultaneously, thus bypassing the struggle for dominance, especially considering that this culture has seen fit to attempt to destroy another species based upon a prophecy of their own doom at its hands. Right Hand, meet Left Hand; do you know what he's been doing? :eek:

    Welcome to the first Trek that is squarely in the genre of fantasy, with no grounding whatsoever in science fiction. On that note, I think we should propose other 'creative' ideas for the series (other than Jayson's monkeys). I'll start:
    • Archer is revealed to be the great-great-great-whatever grandson of Doc Savage, and in every episode, his uniform is jodhpurs and a shredded khaki shirt
    • Romulans are revealed to be raised by actual wolves on their planet
    • An entire episode is devoted to the Vulcans' revelation that Earth is, in fact, only 6000 years old
    • Archer and Co. discover a planet that is actually flat, has 1G gravity, and its sun revolves around it rather than vice-versa
    Who's with me? Let's see some more creative ideas! :D
     
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Doesnt Earth have at least 5 different types of humans?
     
  7. ecky

    ecky Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Location:
    Manchester, North West UK
    Re: The Brave, New Direction of Season 3 (spoilers

    nope, just the one kind.

    and people who like quiche, but they're not human :)
     
  8. Ptrope

    Ptrope Agitator Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Location:
    USA
    ^^

    Races are not species. We're talking about genetically-exclusive and independent species all evolving within the same biosphere into sentience, without wiping one another out through competition until only a single sentient species exists. Look into it, and you'll find that wherever species co-exist, they do not share the same exact resources; there is always a dominant species and every other slots in below it. Competition is natural; symbiosis is the alternative, and it's pretty unlikely that symbiotic species will also be mutually sentient.
     
  9. Walter Sochack

    Walter Sochack Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2002
    Don't forget that it's on the back of four giant elephants, standing on the shell of great A'Tuin the space turtle.

    ______________________
    Rust Red - Dead Pioneers
     
  10. Ptrope

    Ptrope Agitator Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Location:
    USA
    ^^

    :lol:, Walter; I wasn't sure if anyone would get it if I mentioned Discworld :D
     
  11. jhouston6

    jhouston6 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 12, 2001
    That actually sounds like a cool idea to me. A "what if" scenario. Besides the other way it sounds too much like the founders.
     
  12. JNG

    JNG Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    Trek's whole idea of a heavily hominid-populated galaxy is unscientific. It's no news. This is creative because it is a different spin and we haven't seen it in Trek before.
     
  13. rafterman1701

    rafterman1701 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2001
    so will thsese Xindi actually refer to themselves as Xindi-sloth and Xindi-humanoid, cause that's just fucking lame and really why are they all called Xindi in the first place?
     
  14. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    It's not that outlandish an idea. Many non-sentient species co-exist in one ecosphere; many predators co-exist; many plant species; herbivores; scavengers; I don't buy the assumption that only one intelligent species could exist at a time. Since there's no such thing as comparative ecology, on a planetary scale, the principle of mediocrity is often used to speculate about life on other worlds; but, since this is science fiction (or something resembling it ;)), we can be a little more creative. Off the top of my head, I can think of a number of ways that several intelligent species could evolve, from the simple (several very isolated continents) to the complex (Xindi evolution relies heavily on gene-swapping viruses that allow complex traits to jump species more readily than on Earth).

    Another point: The various Xindi species appear different enough that they would not "share the same resources" anyway.

    One last point: It's very likely that humans share the planet with "Terran Aquatics." Several marine mammal species demonstrate high intelligence; how high is debatable, and obviously they have no technology, but some species of dolphins, at least, are almost certainly sentient.
     
  15. Volpone

    Volpone Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Location:
    Bigfoot Country
    Damn. Beat me to it! OK, I am prepared to allow for five seperate, sentient apecies. I'll even allow for them to all work together. But they'd better have a damned convincing rationalization--the virus you mentioned, or some kind of radiation that amps up the mutation rate on the planet... Heck, maybe its time for that old TOS stand-by--a hyperintelligent computer, guiding the development of the planet.

    Unfortunately, past experience makes me doubt that TPTB have put that kind of thought into the plot. At any rate, in a little more than a month, ENT viewers will find out. Be sure to let me know how it turns out. :evil:
     
  16. payndz201

    payndz201 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 30, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    Re: The Brave, New Direction of Season 3 (spoilers

    There's nothing 'brave' about the new direction of season 3. It's a result of flat-out panic and cowardice. "Oh my God, the ratings are terrible and both UPN and Paramount will have our heads if we don't turn things around fast! We have to cram in more action and sex like they want or we'll get fired!"
     
  17. JNG

    JNG Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2001
    Re: The Brave, New Direction of Season 3 (spoilers

    Yes, but in fairness, this happened many times on other Treks and still produced stuff people like. The stuff people think was good on DS9 was mostly panicked responses to studio directives ("hey, your Dominion idea isn't working as a villain-bring in those Klingons I have heard about"), although many DS9 fans have convinced themselves it was all planned out ahead of time, or fell out of the sky on stone tablets, or something.

    So I'll give it a chance. If it's Trek sex and violence and there's some good TV and good sci-fi in there to boot, they did their jobs! :)
     
  18. Pudding

    Pudding Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2003
    I don't see the problem with multiple sentient species evolving on the same planet either. I can't help but laugh when some people try to say that it's impossible given what we know about evolution and science. I'd love to know where I could pick up my degree in extraterrestrial biology or where they know for a fact that all alien species are expected to evolve exactly like those on Earth.

    There could be any number of reasons for this development. Maybe the computer mentioned above. Maybe an outside force came and the Xindi species had to work together to repel them, and then afterwards, they formed an uneasy truce to work toward building a better society. (I could've sworn I read an article that said there was still some animosity amongst the Xindi species as to who was higher in the social hierarchy or something, but I don't recall where.) Who knows? It doesn't really bother me if we don't find out--I want the show to focus on their actions in the present (well, future-present) than to become a research paper on Xindi biology. That's not to say that development isn't important--it is, but with limited time in each episode, I'd rather focus on why the Xindi want Earth dead now. Their evolution really has nothing to do with it, unless the writers somehow tie that in as an issue.

    It's funny--people accept faster-than-light warp drive, time travel, transporters, and other crazy ideas without question, but five species evolving on one planet? Whoa, that's just too much! :rolleyes: Talk about trying to have your cake and eat it too--it's fiction for crying out loud. Science fiction, maybe, but still fiction.
     
  19. Ptrope

    Ptrope Agitator Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Location:
    USA
    ^^

    Well, first off, nobody said it was impossible, only that it was incredibly unlikely and implausible without a damn good explanation, an explanation that I seriously doubt any of us is going to hear from the Beebs and their staff. To turn around what Pudding ended with, it may be fiction, but it's science fiction, and that means you can come up with all kinds of wildass ideas if you also come up with rational explanations for them. Berman obviously doesn't understand this, from his statement that "it's science fiction, which means you can get away with anything." Well, that may work for fantasy, but not for science fiction (heck, it doesn't even work for fantasy, because once you establish something fantastic, you still have to stick to the rules you've established unless you just don't give a damn about your readers, in which case I recommend a new job ...).

    The hoary old argument still doesn't work, either; you know, the one that says, "Well, if you accept warp drive, time travel, transporters, etc., you have to accept all the rest or else you're a hypocrite." There's a difference between completely fantastic fictional science like those (and at this point, many of these are becoming closer to reality anyway; don't forget, too, that many of these were originally - intentionally - based upon concepts that science had established, to the point of talking with real scientists, even well-known ones; they weren't just pulled out of Gene's ass), and unexplained anomalies that completely contradict basic science that we do know, and have established for hundreds of years. Sure, we only have the comparative biology of our own planet to work from, but that includes millions of years and millions of species, and hundreds, if not thousands, of different environments, all wrapped up in one large, observable test lab. Over millions of years, the processes stabilize unless there is a shift in the environment; one can make reasonable extrapolations to other circumstances that one knows aren't radically different from our own, which brings up the next point ...

    Keep in mind that Trek concentrates on alien life that, for the most part, is biologically compatible with our own. Not genetically (although that certainly happens more often than is plausible, too), but biologically; these 'alien' lifeforms all breathe oxygen - for the most part, are carbon-based - for the most part, and we and they can live in each other's environments without adaptation. It's that whole "Class M" thing: they're not out there looking for new life; they're out there looking for life like us (a pretty narrow-minded approach, when you think about it, but it's more easily filmable, right? ;)) The likelihood that biologically-compatible life will develop in biologically-incompatible environments is even slimmer than that biologically-compatible species will also be genetically-compatible. Again, look at all the species on this planet alone, from human beings to other mammals to reptiles to crustaceans, and how many of these different species can interbreed? It's an awfully short list, right? The same thing goes for the evolutionary process, particularly when it comes to competition. In all of the environments on this planet alone, there is competition, and no one environment maintains truly competing species for long; one always wipes the other out, or forces it into another area. That's just the way it is, and with it occurring in every known environment, it's a reasonable assumption that this is always the way it's going to happen, unless there's a good reason for it not to be so; it's not like the mammals called the reptiles and said, "We're going to go with the 'competition model'; you want to do that, or are you guys going to try symbiosis?"

    I agree, Trek shouldn't be a research paper; it's about entertainment (well, that's what they say about ENT, at least ... ). But because of what Trek is, a sci-fi show as opposed to a cop show, a lawyer show or a sitcom, when you start mucking about with known scientific principles, things that are taught in grade school, there should be a reason beyond "we thought it would be kewl." Maybe they did, but that doesn't absolve them from the responsibility to, in the story, create a reasonable-sounding explanation. If the Xindi are supposedly 5 sentient species from the same planet, there should be not just a scientific reason for that, there should be a dramatic reason for it. These 5 species are the "gun in the desk drawer": if you are going to make this point, then you had better do it because it's going to be important to the story. The Xindi could have been one violent, paranoid species, and there would be plenty of potential for conflict and understanding; split them into 5 species, against common sense and scientific rationale, and there needs to be a damn good reason for that to be the case.

    ---------------

    I have to get a Cliff's Notes version of Ptrope's posts. - Kirk's Glasses
     
  20. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Location:
    Tatoinne
    Yes: TOSsers, TNGnuts, Niners, VOYagers and ENTmanias. Astute of you to notice. :D

    Okay, maybe this doesn't sound terribly plausible - considering that on our own planet, homo sapiens viciously wiped out all competing hominoid species - but it is science fiction, after all, and alternate evolutionary scenarios are perfectly okay.

    What about this scenario? The Xindi homeworld is large, with five separate continents that weren't joined together by continental drift, but rather became separate early on in its history, like Australia was here. Just as Australia developed weird mammals - marsupials - that couldn't have competed with placental mammals if they hadn't been isolated, maybe the five Xindi continents were isolated for long enough that sentient species arose on all of them.

    By the time these species had progressed enough in seafaring that they discovered one another, they were all advanced enough to put up a fight and further survive. Okay, for them ALL to evolve at about the same time, to about the same extent, seems pretty implausible, but it isn't completely impossible, is it?

    Or: What if the Xindi System had five planets in the habitable band, close enough to the local star but not too close, and one sentient species arose on each planet independently. By the time the first one developed space travel, they might be enlightened enough not to kill their neighbors, but rather nurture them.

    We don't know for sure the Xindi are vicious xenophobes; or maybe they are only xenophobic about species outside their system; or maybe the xenophobia is a relatively recent development? If you're thinking, hey wait, life evolving on five planets in ONE system, well we know that Mars and Earth have "traded rocks" in the form of asteroids - maybe life evolved on one planet and eventually made its way to all five?

    But I think the problem here is that, while we can accept implausible scenarios in the service of science fiction, it would be good form for sci-fi writers to make sure the implausibility is unavoidable before disposing of more plausible scenarios that could do the job just as well.

    What I mean is: warp drive and humanoid aliens everywhere are both implausible. But they're also indispensible, because you couldn't have a series about space travel, or use human actors to portray most of the characters, without these implausibilities. So we can accept them as essential.

    But five Xindi species evolving on one planet isn't essential. Are there going to be episodes that hinge on the fact that they all evolved on the same planet? I don't see how; it's just part of their backstory. It would be just as easy to rewrite their backstory for the most plausible explanation: eg, they're all from different planets in different solar systems. What would be lost by changing their backstory?

    If, for some unknown reason, it's absolutely essential to the plotline that they all come from the same planet, here's a more plausible scenario: one Xindi species evolved sentience naturally and created the other four, in a Dr. Moreau type scenario, via genetic engineering. Plausbility problems solved without losing whatever was essential about them being from the same planet. IF that's essential at all.